Today there are eleven single family houses for sale in Delray Beach, built between 1925 and 1930. They range in price from a home on SE First Avenue for $249,900 and a home on North Ocean Boulevard for $4,450,000. Two Boca Raton homes built between 1925 and 1930 are on the market in Old Floresta. Both feature bygone craftsman ship including pecky cypress ceilings and Spanish tile floors. One is for sale for $1,495,000 with original walls and stunning grounds and pool on a large peaceful lot. The interior includes a fireplace, arched doorways and windows and has 5 bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths. Another listed for $1,399,000 is 3109 sq ft, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, and also has arched doorways and windows, chair rails, and parquet floors. Among the 63 homes for sale in Lake Worth that were built in 1929 or earlier, the earliest was built in 1920, Spanish style, yellow exterior. It features hardwood floors, arched doorways, a brick paver driveway and is located in downtown Lake Worth on Federal Highway. It has 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 1644 sq ft of living space. Listed at $359,000. If you are looking for a historic home, call Marilyn Jacobs at 561-988-0070 or e mail Marilyn at marilynfjacobs@gmail.com and ask her to send you the listings and show these interesting homes to you which have many of the original features restored. When you do come, bring your camera!



“You Have Arrived!” will surely fit the forthcoming new owners of the historic landmarked Tuscan-inspired Palm Beach VIlla Leoncini estate and it’s 3-story entrance tower. Designed by Palm Beach Architect Howard Major in 1926, the style is Tuscan Italian Renaissance, borrowed from a Lake Como villa. It was first named La Torre Bianca (“The White Tower”)and has a U-shaped floor plan with rooms wrapping around a patio, providing an easy flow from room to room and outdoors. The now deceased owner was a founding member of the Horticulture Society of South Florida, and transformed the grounds into a lush paradise. There are 300 varieties of orchids. Drive down to the motor court and front door, set with cast-stone quoins arched around the door and flanked by two griffin statues, sitting as sentries. Inside the entry are twin doorways with linen-fold caring and the original black-and-white marble tile floor set on the diagonal. There are French doors crowned by fan windows with beautiful views of the courtyard, patios and pool. The formal living room features floor to ceiling pecky cypress paneling and picture molding, built-in bookcases, a wood burning fireplace and a delicate antique marble mantel. The floor is Cuban tile. The dining room with emaed ceiling, features antique Portuguese blue and while tile pictures on the walls, copies of a room in the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. The separate guesthouse has two bedrooms, 2 baths, kitchen and laundry facilities. Come see… and buy! Live with history.


5 OPEN HOUSE TOURS 5 - Sunday 12/14 from 1 to 4 pm - no equity, no HOA





Accompanying friends who were house hunting and with no intention of buying, Ross Meltzer and Tom Samet, Interior Decorators in East Hampton, fell in love with “Doubledog” at first sight. Atop the two piers flanking the entrance gate sit a pair of dog statues, which gave the house it’s name. Having occupied 14 homes over the years, moving is a habit for these fellows. Now they are spending more time in East Hampton, so have put the historic 4 bedroom, 4 ½ bath home and guest cottage up for sale at $2.75MM. Furnishings are available separately. This home is Samet’s favorite of the bunch, “incredibly private and it faces southeast, so all day it’s bright… it’s also on a slight hill so we have the views and a breeze.” He further describes it as “old-timey.” The National Register of Historic Places and the City of West Palm Beach list the house as a historic home. Previous owners have maintained the home and its original design with no major alterations, although five years ago the kitchen was extended fifteen feet.. Some features include many French doors, windows opening to 3000 sq ft of wraparound terraces on three sides, a Chicago-brick driveway on the fourth side. There is a Santa Barbara fell to the house, with tall, mature hedges and fountains. The house also has oak and poplar floors, more northern-like. Mizner reminders include the mantel in the living room, pecky cypress ceilings throughout the downstairs rooms, and the four antique wrought-iron gates in the garden. There is a charming 1920’s ear old fashioned telephone room with chaise. Colors are dramatic and include butterscotch with touches of Chinese red in the living room. There are intracoastal views through the many windows. The large garden has a dining gazebo, Geoergian-style pool and formal gardens with statuary. The kitchen features a Spanish-tile floor, custom cabinetry, a beamed ceiling, granite countertops, and top-of-the line appliances. A barrel-tile roof with eaves supported by corbels is a prominent feature of 265 Granada Road. The arched windows look out into the courtyard. The next owners will be charmed too… and love the sense of history that surrounds the house.



Culling the list of most expensive properties that are for sale from published property listings, high-end brokerages and conversations with real estate agents, here are updates us on the state of the high-end real estate market. Note that in Europe especially many estates and luxury markets are shopped privately for undisclosed prices. Financier Leonard Ross took his Beverly Hills Hearst Mansion listed for $165MM off the market, as did Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia with his $125MM Aspen Ski Lodge. But “our Donald,” Donald Trump, closed on the sale of his $100MM Maison de L’Amitie in Palm Beach, Florida to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, having given away the largest single residence price concession of all time of $25MM. Trump bought the house for $41.4MM four years ago, so still made a nice profit. Two houses remain on the market right now for $125MM each. The “Fleur de Lys,” in Beverly Hills, CA, modeled after Louis XIV’s Versailles palace, with Versailles-style decor, is 45,000 sq ft. Built over 5 years, included are a 50-seat screening room and library filled with 1st Edition books. There is a 9-car garage, 12 bedrooms, and 15 bathrooms. This Holmby Hills estate is sandwiched between Beverly Hills and Bel Air. A Jacobean manor with interior features similar to Dunnellen Hall, the estate has features such as vaulted ceilings, travertine marble floors, bay windows, limestone walls and wood paneling and sprawls over 40 acres of rolling hills edged with tall trees, is 21,897 sq ft and has a 52-foot long indoor swimming pool.



Looking for a historic home to buy with original details? This circa 1928 2-story home, a short walk to Indian River, has been fully restored. Set on a half acre, it is high on a hill. There are 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 3200 sq ft. No HOA Fees. Remaining original details include hardpine floors, wood burning fireplace, formal living and dining rooms, original French Doors, wrought iron porch and balcony, 40’x15’ inground pool and gazebo. The house is in Riverside, a community established in 1923. No historical restrictions.



Henry Morrison Flagler’s personal rail car, built in 1886, is now on view, and you can walk through the new 8100 sq ft Pavilion at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach to see it. The railway car, which he frequently lived in for short travel periods, has been restored to its original appearance, using records from the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian, the Delaware State Archives and the Hagley Museum and Library in Delaware. See the salon, master bedroom and bath, guest quarters and kitchen. The car is called “A Palace on Wheels.” See the fine appointments, including the oak paneling and desk. Flagler traveled by this railcar in 1912 along the Overseas Railway to Key West to celebrate completion of the FEC Railway, a phenomenal engineering feat. This is the first public Beaux-Arts style building built in the US in 60 years. Its design is consistent with Whitehall, which was completed in 1902. The Museum’s Pavilion Café is also in the building. Flagler owned much of the land along both sides of the hundreds of miles of track, and has been called “Florida’s Godfather.” For more information, go to http://www.flaglermuseum.us/ or call 561-655-2833.



Now comes word that the anonymous Russian billionaire who bought the exquisite Villa Leopolda historic estate on the French Cote d’Azur paid a higher price than previously reported. This purchase overtakes the previous highest purchase of a London home by Laksmi Mittal for his son for $236,000,000. (WOW these are all a lot of zeros!). Villa Leopolda is between Monaco and Nice, overlooking Cap Ferrat near Villefranche-su-Mer. It is a cream-colored turreted mansion with two guest houses. King Leopold II of Belgium built the villa in 1902. In 1916, King Leopold’s nephew and heir, King Albert I, turned the villa into a hospital for wounded officers during WW1. The Agnelli family later owned the property (Fiat auto tycoons) and held legendary jet-set parties in the 1960’s, with guests including Frank Sinatra and Ronald Regan (in his acting days). Fifty full-time gardeners are employed to take care of 20 acres of gardens and terraces, with 1200 olive, orange, lemon and cypress trees. The grounds are considered among the most spectacular on the Cote d’Azur. Seller was Lily Safra, widow of murdered banking billionaire, Edmond Safra. A Russian oil oligarch is said to be the new owner. But not Roman, Abramovich, owner of the Chelsea Football Club, who owns a $100,000,000 mansion near Antibes. It is reported that 60 villas and mansions on Cap Ferrat are owned by wealthy Russians.



Cason Cottage, located at 5 NE 1st Street. Was built in 1915, and is operated as a museum by the Delray Beach Historical Society. The Historical Society and City of Delray Beach restored the cottage museum in 1988. It is a vernacular style home with craftsman cottage details, solidly constructed of Dade County pine. The permanent exhibit reflects Florida lifestyle 1915-1935. Tours by appointment – call 561-243-0223. Admission is $3. Gift shop on premises.



Built in 1886, Sea Gull Cottage is Palm Beach’s oldest building and Henry Flagler’s first home there. The cottage is adjacent to the Royal Poinciana Chapel, built in 1896 by Flagler for his guests. This week crews are raising the Victorian-style cottage by a foot to improve drainage, only the first major step in a reconstruction, restoration and expansion project. Wood siding will be removed in sections and replace with more weather-resistant Hardi board. Second floor rooms will be eliminated to make space for a 2.000 sq ft addition for religious education classrooms and meeting place. A turret removed some time ago will be replaced. The height of the piers supporting the cottage will be increased and a concrete foundation for the addition will be poured to secure the base. The doors and stained glass windows have been temporarily removed and windows will be incorporated into new impact-resistant windows. Since 2006 the cottage has had permanent landmark status, keeping the cottage on chapel grounds. Preservation groups are accepting more and more the use of newer materials to replace historic construction materials. Completion of all work is expected in about a year.



For the last 30-years, “Singing Pines” house has been the home of the Boca Raton Children’s Museum. Celebrations are scheduled for October, along with the first phase of expansion, and will feature a look back at Boca’s pioneer history, a display “for kids and about kids.” Located at 498 Crawford Boulevard, the museum will soon look like a village green. Author Diane Benedetto has written a book on what it was like to be a kid in the pioneer days and will be taking part. A Memorabilia Closet will hold toys and clothes from that era. Historic photos will be included, in particular on of the aftermath of a 1920’s hurricane where everything is devastated but “Singing Pines” remains standing. The house was built by William Myrick who purchased the property from Henry M. Flagler’s Model Land Company and the Myricks were one of 13 families who settled in Boca Raton in 1913. Phase II will be a high-tech house with a mini-Imax theatre and computer labs that give children an opportunity to create science projects, make films… and more. It will be named “The Voyager,” using designs from H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. Museum Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 12-4 pm. For more information call 561-368-6875.



Once owned by Bill Gates, La Leopolda, 10 acres, said to have the best views in Southern France, reportedly built by Belgium’s King Leopold for his mistresses, has been purchased by  a Russian billionaire, reportedly for CASH. A regular 80% mortgage would have monthly payments of over $3,000,000! 

ADDITIONAL NOTE: In August 2008, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov put Villa Leopold under contract for $750MM. In March 2010, he tried to back out of the deal and wanted his $50MM deposit back.  Owner Lilly Safra went to court and they ruled in her favor and she was also awarded damages.  Ms. Safra indicated she would be donating the money to charities. 



In 1979, in an effort to save the Town of Palm Beach’s historic resources, the Town Council adopted a Historic Preservation Ordinance. (Palm Beach Code, Chapter 54, Historic Preservation, Section 54-36), to study and protect Palm Beach’s most significant architectural achievements, ensuring that the heritage of Palm Beach would not be lost for future generations.

The new owner of the 1960 house at 144 Wells Road wants to have the house demolished to make way for a British Colonial house. It was designed by acclaimed Mid-Century Modern architect Alfred Browning Parker, who was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. The demotion request was sent to the Architectural Review Commission and the Town Council, and brought outcries from preservationists who feel the property is an "architectural gem" as it is. The Commission is now considering giving the property a landmark designation, even though the Town Attorney has cautioned that i could leave the town open to a lawsuit. Parker has offered to renovate the property, but the owner indicated he is not interested.

The Commissioners are also studying the possibility of giving two other properties landmark designations. They are 958 North Lake Way, designed in the mid 1970's by Modernist architect Richard Meier, and 977 North Ocean Boulevard, a 1965 John Volk British Colonial.

The Historic Preservation Ordinance directs the appointment by the Town Council of a Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), comprised of seven members, six of whom must be Town of Palm Beach residents. The Commission meets monthly to identify significant structures, subject them to a set of objective criteria, and designate the most worthy as landmarks of the Town of Palm Beach. Properties are then proposed for designation. The staff studies the issue for later discussion at a public hearing. At the public hearing, the LPC votes on whether or not to recommend to the Town Council that the building under consideration be designated a Landmark of the Town of Palm Beach. The Landmarks Commission’s recommendation must then be ratified by the Town Council.

To be worthy of landmark status, a building must have an important historical association, or be an outstanding example of architectural design, or the significant work of a notable architect or master craftsman. The LPC also reviews changes and alterations to existing Landmark properties, issues Certificates of Appropriateness for work to be done, and oversees the Town’s Tax Abatement program. There are 246 properties, sites and vistas currently protected under the Historic preservation Ordinance of the Town of Palm Beach.



Undergoing renovations for the past three years, the building houses the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History museum and is filled with exhibits (some interactive) relating to the history of Palm Beach County. The restoration project, begun in January 2004, reused original materials including limestone, granite, exterior windows, marble wainscot, mosaic floor tiles, wood flooring, doors, trim and hardware. 67% of the original exterior bricks were used. 76 original windows were used and 37 impact windows were custom designed to match. All original columns & capitals were used; column weight including plinth block is 30,600 lbs and support the portico roof above them. Base is granite. 95% of mosaic floor tiling is original and 215 sq ft of matching mosaic tiles were salvaged and used. 28 sets of original doorknob hardware were salvaged and installed on original and new doors of courtroom and main restored corridors. 1000+ sq ft of original maple wood flooring was found In the courtroom, removed and reinstalled in the east end of the courtroom and refinished. Matching maple wood flooring was installed to complete restoration of the courtroom floor. Designated as a Palm Beach County historic site on September 27, 2005, the building is located at 300 North Dixie in West Palm Beach. In 1916, one year after Palm Beach County was formed from Dade County, its population was 5,577 and Broward County did not yet exist. A land sale boom period was in effect and real estate was sold at roadside offices and tents from Boca Raton to Ft. Pierce. Property values back then doubled and then tripled. Railroads and ships could not keep pace with the demand for building materials. Hotels began going up on the west side of the intracoastal waterway and the Palm Beach County market opened to middle income families who could not afford to stay in hotels on the island. The Grand Opening for the Restored Courthouse was held on March 15, 2008.



Did you know that income generated by Historic property is eligible for a 20% federal tax credit for rehabilitation costs and federal grants MAY be available, e.g. for a new roof or cracked foundation? Historic properties are known as “houses with character,” and renovations may be needed. “Places worthy of preservation” are listed among 78,000 homes, with 1500 new ones added each year to the National Register of Historic Places. If you own or purchase a home associated with historic trends, a historically significant person or type of construction or architecture, or in a neighborhood that is one of the oldest in your city, it may be considered a historic property, and thereby worth more than otherwise. Anyone can submit a nomination as long as the property’s owner consents, and once on the register, it is there to stay. The property’s history must be researched an included in the nomination and sent for review to your state’s historic preservation office. After state approval it is reviewed by an advisory committee and then sent to Washington, DC for review by the National Register. Check with your local government before making any exterior or interior changes. Costs can be higher and it can take more time to “stay true to the original period.” Doors and windows may need to be custom made, brick matched, and fixtures replicated. Some original period items you will want to do without such as drafty windows, sparse bathrooms and kitchens, lead paint and coal-guzzling furnaces!



Dubbed “the most original and earliest remaining residential work of Palm Beach’s signature architect” by Historian Augustus C. Mayhew, this well-preserved 1919 Addison Mizner oceanfront Mediterranean villa on the island’s North End, recently came on the market for $30-MM. The multi-story 13,500 sq ft residence sits on a 1.5 acre tract with 150 feet of beach frontage. There are 10 bedrooms, 5 full and two half-baths, four fireplaces, a guest house, cabana, swimming pool, tennis court and three-car garage along with extensive gardens. Stairs and windows frame new spaces at each corner and there are beautiful ocean views. There are pecky cypress ceilings, original blue octagonal tile floors and walls in the upstairs master bedroom, and a “Scheherazade” stairway. Smaller in scale than some built during the mid-1920’s, it was landmarked in 1980, it is one of the less than 30 Mizner houses still standing on the island. The house has been owned for more than 50 years by descendants of Marie Louise Wanamaker Munn.



Villa des Cygnes – “House of Swans” – built in 1922, has been restored by Walter and Cathleen McFarlane Ross. The residence is stunning and significant. The view from across Lake Worth shows it’s prominent façade rising right from the water that laps at its foundation. Brick paved walkways and beautiful colorful tropical plantings abound. The formal living room features a fireplace with elaborately carved mantle and French-style chairs. Cathleen and her late husband, Norris McFarlane, bought the house in 1986 when it was in disrepair due to misguided renovations and neglect. There were 5 kitchens and 11 bathrooms. She hired Jeffrey W. Smith, AIA, who had studied Mizner’s work. Mizner was already acclaimed for his first Palm Beach commission, The Everglades Club’s building down the avenue, and then built this home and also the Venetian-style Casa de Leone, nearby. Catherine saw that walls were carefully taken down and fireplaces and skylights restored or replaced. Only one original Mizner room remains completely intact, a guest bathroom. During construction, a staircase that had been walled in during a previous renovation was discovered, and restored. The house has pecky-cypress paneling, Austrian paneling, French Doors, and many other Mizner-like features. History has been elegantly revived and magically transformed!



Built in British Colonial style in 1938, this elegant Pelican Lane home fell into disrepair when found by Drs. Daniel and Judith Doctor back in 2000. Judith Doctor appreciated the repeated arched doorways with views of the ICW, louvered shutters, fanlight above the front door, and stepped chimney, all typical of Volk’s work. Working with builder John Mitchell, the house became what Judith calls, “a graceful beauty.” Volk had designed the house for Chester Kroger on a lakefront site a few blocks south of Worth Avenue. Judith added metal openwork gates to the courtyard and a fountain. She reinterpreted the bricks behind the fountain with the art deco influence that Volk incorporated into the chimney. Faux painting in a creamy color decorates the foyer walls. Original random-width oak planks are throughout, on the floors. The fanlight repeats above the living room door. French doors abound, some are arched on top. There are dentil moldings in the living room and columns separating formal living space from the loggia. Floors are limestone. Judith designed a recessed mahogany china cabinet for the dining room. The kitchen features wood wainscoting, white oak floors, oak cabinetry and a central island with black-granite countertops. The kitchen has a cathedral wood ceiling which Judith says, “reminds me of a boat.” There is a large rectangular pool over looking the intracoastal waterway. There are 5 bedrooms and 5 baths, 5685 sq ft. The house is currently listed for sale for $17.95MM.


SUNDY HOUSE, Delray Beach

Located in the heart of historic downtown Delray Beach, and one mile from the fabulous beach at the end of Atlantic Avenue, the Sundy House is a boutique inn listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This secluded retreat is nestled within an acre of stunning tropical gardens. The Victorian inn’s 11 luxurious guest accommodations feature sumptuous décor and modern amenities. Sundy House hides
within an acre overflowing with 500 tropical plant species. In every corner, you'll discover unique details: a bed suspended in air, a sunset painted on the ceiling, red-cork wallpaper, and blue suede walls. Swim with turtles and angelfish in the naturally filtered swimming pond. Venturing away from this self-contained wonderland only brings more pleasures, like snorkeling or windsurfing in the southern Atlantic, minutes away. Stay for Sundy's Sunday brunch, a lavish affair with everything from eggs Benedict made with Florida lobster to raspberry ham with mango cole slaw. Doubles from $175; 561-272-5678 Experience the award-winning Sundy House Restaurant, the elegant Roux Bamboux Lounge. Just 20 minutes from Palm Beach International Airport and one hour north of Miami, our superb location is easy to reach whether for business or pleasure. The Sundy House is mere steps from shopping, dining and cultural events, in a serene setting in which art, history and culture merge. Complimentary transportation to beach/downtown where life is GOOD and ACTIVE. Other awards include: The New York Post – “Florida’s Top 50 Hotels and Resorts;” Travel + Leisure – “Top 30 Inns in the U.S;” Palm Beach Post – “Best Brunch and Most Romantic Restaurant;” South Florida Parenting – “Best Romantic Getaway.”